Our fitness practice seems ripe for breakthroughs in the summer. The long days of light make it seem easier to fit our workout into the course of a day, and the energy level we bring to it feels brighter. Yet taking advantage of summer’s active spirit means adding to the safety practices we observe, to suit summer conditions, and dialing up some of the safeguards we use all year.
Precautions and Awareness
Hydrating should be a point of pride year-round if we’re serious about fitness. And in the summer, it can be positively lifesaving. Water is the lubricant of everything good our bodies are doing for us, and we lose it faster in the hot summer months. So this is a good time to get as proud of our water intake as we are about the number of reps we accomplish in our abdominal exercises, or the weight we can handle in the bench press.
Good hydration capitalizes on everything your exercise is doing for you, making motion more efficient and clearing out lactic acid with the other biproducts of exercise, while it flushes impurities from our bodies. Water is just about the best friend an athlete can get.
Perspiring cools and cleans our bodies, yes, but in high humidity it does not evaporate as efficiently. In our notorious Atlanta summertime, it’s particularly important to pay attention to how we feel as we exercise. The slightest trace of dizziness is a sign you’re overdue for a break. The effects of heat are serious, and our defense against it is hampered by humidity.
Everybody in the Pool
And speaking of water, why not work swimming into your fitness picture this summer? Every workout routine needs to have variation, and if you’re not already a swimmer give it a try. The important thing is not to pattern yourself after the competitive swimmers you see during the Olympics – at least not yet. Instead, remember when swimming was just fun as a child.
Any movement takes on a different level of benefit when you do it in the water. The gentle, all-around “resistance” produces long, lean, flexible muscles, as well as cardio benefits, and gives a more comprehensive exercise than the kind that depends entirely on gravity. For those of us who already “do weights” or have some other form of resistance exercise in our practice, swimming complements that, soothing and stretching stressed muscles in a way that, let’s face it – many of us neglect to do after weights or machines.
Checklists Are Plentiful
One of the best lists of summer fitness tips is published by Woman’s Day Magazine. Don’t turn up your nose at these, guys. Men’s Fitness listed summer skin care tips. We’re not kidding.
Among the summer fitness tips we see most often, a handful appear on just about every list:
- Wear “wicking” fabrics
- Protect your skin
- Drink water often
- Perfect your timing
This fifth tip is interesting. Use these longer summer days to work out in the morning or evening and avoid the worst of the heat. One of the variations our fitness routine might need is a different time of day, and summer is a great time to introduce that.
And a Tip from The Pros
Every professional team holds routine physical evaluations before summer workouts begin. That’s a good idea to consider for yourself too, especially as the summer changes our workout environment in such important ways. This could be the best tip we take from the pros.
At Eclipse 1-on-1, we are as invested in your success as you are. Our accomplished team of personal trainers is ready, willing, and able to check in on your own stage of fitness, even if we’ve been working together for a while. Our way is to help you discover the link between the fitness you have now and the fitness you want to enjoy, and so it’s never a bad time to re-evaluate. Let’s get together and refine your approach, to put summer on your side.